Business & Tech

Proud mom boasts about the deal her son can’t talk about

Jesse Kaplan, founder of Parcel Inc., posed with a cargo van from Parcel's fleet in 2014.
Patrick Yan/Parcel Inc. via AP
Jesse Kaplan, founder of Parcel Inc., posed with a cargo van from Parcel's fleet in 2014.

A month after his New York delivery startup Parcel was acquired by Walmart, Newton native Jesse Kaplan still can’t reveal much about the deal.

His mother, however, has something to say: She’s very proud of him.

Annette Kaplan recently contacted the Globe to point out the local connection to the deal, in which the retail behemoth bought her 26-year-old son’s business for an undisclosed sum. Parcel is a round-the-clock package delivery operation that can handle perishables.


“I don’t think any of us could believe it was real,” Annette Kaplan said in an interview.

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But Kaplan’s had more exposure to the world of startups than your average parent. Her 28-year-old daughter, Stephanie Kaplan Lewis, is chief executive of the college media company Her Campus. Their father, Bill Kaplan, is chief executive of Newton-based FreshAddress, which helps companies maintain e-mail lists.

The siblings, both products of Newton public schools and Harvard University, didn’t show any particular affinity for entrepreneurship growing up. Stephanie was a writer, and Jesse was more math-oriented, Annette Kaplan said.

But they did show an independence and resilience that their mother said have served them well.

“I don’t think they saw themselves as business people, but I think they realized early on that they had their own way of doing things, which makes it harder to be a subordinate somewhere,” she said, adding, “I am in awe of them.”

Andy Rosen can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @andyrosen.